Ethiopia (MNN) — Why would Christians advocate for violence, especially against other Christians?
It happened recently in Ethiopia, where self-proclaimed prophets (many of them holding positions of leadership in evangelical churches) claimed God supported the Ethiopian government’s attacks on the Tigray region.
Eric Foley with The Voice of the Martyrs Korea says, “Pastor T and Tigray Christians are not asking us to advocate for one side or the other in the conflict. Anytime I hear Christians say, ‘Certainly God is on our side because anybody who would believe differently than we believe can’t really be a Christian,’ it reminds me that when I hear mature Christians talk, they don’t say things like that.”
This isn’t just a problem in Ethiopia. High-ranking Russian Orthodox leaders advocated for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. And in the U.S., many people who stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, carried crosses or other Christian symbols.
Foley says Christians can learn from the example of their brothers and sisters who face persecution. “When I’ve had the chance to talk to Christians in places like Tigray, North Korea, or China, most of the time, they don’t tell me that they pray for things like regime change or various political things.”
“What they really pray for are the same things that we pray for on a daily basis, about their families and their faith.”
A new study from the Pew Research Center says the number of Christians continues to decline in the U.S., And it’s not caused by declining birthrates or the influence of other religions. Younger people are leaving the faith to identify with no religion in particular.
Why is this happening? One leading theory says Christianity in the U.S. has become embroiled in politics. Foley says, “We need to pray most to differentiate between politics and faith, and to put our unity with the body of Christ first.”
Pray for unity in the Ethiopian church and Christians all around the world.
The header photo shows a grave dug during the civil war in Ethiopia. (Photo courtesy of Voice of America)